What Do We Mean by "Hidden" MSG?

Many of us already know that MSG is a harmful food additive and should be avoided. However, MSG can be "hidden" in a variety of foods, and you may be consuming it unwittingly! At Smokehut Jerky, we think that foods which contain MSG in ANY form should be required by law to have a label that states this. Unfortunately this is not the case. 

Watch Out For These Hidden Sources of MSG:

  • Soy Sauce
  • Soy Protein and Soy Isolate
  • Yeast Extract
  • Autolyzed Yeast
  • Maltodextrin (a corn product)
  • Hydrolyzed Protein
  • Sodium Caseinate
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Yeast Nutrient
  • Textured Protein
  • Any "Enzyme Modified" Ingredient

Why Should I Care? How Bad Is MSG For My Body?

Many doctors believe that MSG is worse for you than nicotine, alcohol, and a vast array of other drugs. The 2 main reasons that cause MSG to be harmful are that it is an excitotoxin, as in it excites your cells to death, and because glutamate is one of the most common neurotransmitters in your body. As a result, introducing it into your diet can confuse your cells and interfere with your body's natural functions. 

Our brains, eyes, nervous systems, pancreas and other organs use glutamate to initiate many biological processes. The pancreas, for example, is stimulated by MSG to produce insulin. This causes your blood sugar to drop and makes your body think you are "full" when you aren't. This, as well as the addictive properties of MSG are the reasons that unethical companies go to great lengths to incorporate it into their products. Education has helped to create a backlash regarding the adverse health effects of this addtive, but instead of removing it, many brands choose to "hide" that they are using it through using lesser known forms of MSG. This is in spite of the fact that it can potentially trigger or worsen Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Lou Gehrig's disease, learning diseases, headaches, stroke, and more. Your heart is also affected, which can further increase your risk for a stroke. In a paper from 2011, the American Heart Association stated that MSG is a "common” trigger for A-fib,” and the link between atrial fibrillation and stroke is well documented. 

If MSG is so bad, why don't people in Asian cultures have more headaches and health problems, since MSG is found in so much of their food? 

In China, stroke is the number one leading cause of death and is a major contributor to disability, though in America stroke is the 5th leading cause of death. When you consider that atrial fibrillation skyrockets one's risk of stroke, and both A-fib and strokes have been linked to MSG consumption, it is easy to draw a connection that helps to explain this unfortunate fact. Furthermore, people can build up a tolerance to some of the more minor affects of MSG, such as headaches. If the substance is cut from one's diet and then later ingested, or if it is consumed by a person who rarely eats any sources of MSG, headaches are much more likely.

Don't just take our word for it... Check out what other experts have to say about MSG!

The FDA states:

"Studies have shown that the body uses glutamate, an amino acid, as a nerve impulse transmitter in the brain and that there are glutamate-responsive tissues in other parts of the body, as well.

Abnormal function of glutamate receptors has been linked with certain neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's chorea. Injections of glutamate in laboratory animals have resulted in damage to nerve cells in the brain."

Dr. Russell Blaylock, MD, explains the excitotoxic effects of MSG:

MSG enters the brain past the blood-brain barrier and triggers neurons to open their calcium channel. The glutamate causes the cell to remain stuck in the open position then calcium floods into the cell in large amounts. This triggers the cell to react in emergency mode and starts its special pump that will start pumping out the excess calcium using up large amounts of energy (ATP).

The cell then swells up with excess calcium and eventually the cell is depleted of energy and dies within a few hours. The pump couldn’t pump out the excess calcium fast enough. It’s like trying to bail water out of a boat with a large hole in the bottom. You use up a ton of energy and eventually the boat is filled and sinks. The cell shrivels up and the body’s defense mechanism sweeps away the dead cell debris.”

The Global Healing Center states:

"Ingesting [MSG] can cause diabetes, adrenal gland malfunction, seizures, high blood pressure, excessive weight gain, stroke and other health problems. If you eat MSG and experience any of these conditions, then you need to immediately eliminate MSG from your diet."

Smokehut Jerky is serious about health, which is why you won't find any sources of MSG in our products. The most common sources of MSG that we see our competitors using are soy sauce, yeast extract, hydrolyzed protein, and maltodextrin. We don't rely on the addictive properties of this toxin to convert you into a fan of our food, we rely on the quality of our products to do that. Furthermore, we believe that you will notice the benefits of a healthy diet first hand, and you can rest easy knowing that you are making better choices for yourself and your loved ones.


Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills by Dr. Russell Blaylock, MD




“FAQs of atrial fibrillation (AF)” American Heart Association, American Stroke Association, 2011, heart.org

“MSG, cancer, and your heart,” Gailon Totheroh, CBN News: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/healthscience/2007/february/msg-cancer-and-your-heart/?mobile=false